Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Me.Myself.

A tin-full of sardines, gloriously dead, are all. Lifelessness remains a passive corollary to living.
The opium-eater doesn't know what to confess anymore.

That’s about it, I’m afraid.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Just.So.

One or two pieces of a lonely universe
That is all for tonight.
A little stroll perhaps, along the woods
Mine is the kingdom.
Pitch black nights, burnt matchsticks
And a sudden flicker.

Much less is known than not
Like her stare into the rain outside.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cryptic

Let’s not talk of love or chain, and things we can’t untie. The eyes, they do get soft with sorrow. And, yet, there is a kind of anticipation in the air. I have lost my years almost casually, and you know, just before that awkward moment, I have not had any regret for being myself!

It’s Christmas. The moss-stained and glum stones of Park Street cemetery get greeted by a gust of foreign wind. Do the dead have their country? Or, slightly twisting the words of a self-searching Irishman, must we say, “There’s no country for dead men”! The queer implication of identity, related to a certain domain, has always been an enigma for us, the living often share their problems with the men under their feet. Even when the wired sense of identity transmits itself into reality, the cracked looking-glass is fairly visible inside the fervour of symmetry. So much for the Lord, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

I will not look for another as I wander in my time, walk me to a corner, and we will hunt down the secrets of this life, and may be of this death. Together.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

shawkol madhuri lukaaye jaay...

A moment of awkward silence. It’s in page two-forty-eight, damn!—I happen to know it by heart. Just turn over the page. Yes, there it is, sitting pretty amid the yellowish nothingness.
The never-have-beens often take a break from their rustiness to listen to the bluesy notes of what could have been. And, a minor note from nowhere vibrates inside the memory, even when we sweet-talk the beast into its den.
I have lost the ribbons I had saved for someone.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

No Coward Soul is MIne?

More than Mira Nair movies, military salutes and extremism, what captures my imagination is a wounded pigeon, just outside the Hotel Taj. Unknowingly, it has become the symbol of survival. I felt like puking everytime the news channels flashed their oh-so-exclusive news coverages.

I'm afraid. And, sad. I want to get away from it all. Compulsively.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

November Rain

Behold, I will do something new and it will spring forth. Will you not be aware of it?

The perception of not being in the thick of things is wearisome. I am all confused, canned, and a little drowsy. The girl who used to sing the blues has glided smiles away from the springs of despair.

Janis Joplin, they say, took to weed. She lost her way into the woods.

We do not have a song of experience yet. And we have lost the song of innocence.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Love, levity and leftovers

Like dark chocolate and half-hearted conquests it tasted wonderful. There was something impudent in the air, something that you might even call bad grace. Bad grace—but grace it was that darkened the purest light and cast long shadows. You knew you were in the presence of something other-wordly, something that resembles the crude elegance of the lost violent racks waning away to the contempt of the Augustan order. A faint flicker, of hope, or of its desperate memory, illuminated the shreds of survival, if only for a moment. The queue of nameless faces, sun-baked and rain-soaked, put their bets on the impossibility of a madcap moment. They believed in the unreal, and, for once in the history of make-believe, the man was the moment. Nothing can mend the broken tapestry of a collective dream. And yet, the man put his life on the line for the impossible. He made the prodigal to pine for his home by taking on the red cherry and the stubborn willow. He led the pack without looking at the existential riddles lurking around every corner, without flinching, without even a crease of thought on his forehead. Scarred, battered, and badly bruised, he held aloft the laurel of the victor. It was cruel, excruciatingly painful, and most certainly devoid of the benevolence preached in the gospels. We only cheered, and feared, and trembled at the celebration of pagan dregs within our puritanical bastions.
Gangles was fun. He was mayhem and alas!—he was merriment.
The ghost of a disconsolate fancy shall always pass our mind in long-drawn afternoons, reserved, otherwise, for serene contemplations. And the ghost will never rest in peace.
That instant of supreme awkwardness shall always be Sourav Ganguly's obelisk, standing tall, within the holy grounds of Wilfred Rhodes and Emmott Robinson.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Maddoxed thoughts

Finally, it came. Like the solitary note from a wooden flute. Faces unfamiliar stood motionless among the hullabaloo, tingling apprehension gave way to hopeless blasphemy. But, it came. Like the unexpected ace in the midst of a card-game. The mob took no notice, even the history remained at its static best. Still, it came. Like the slightly off-keyed interlude of a Kabir Suman song. And, the craziest coyness touched the tip of a very nervous tongue.

What did not happen is not going to happen again, in this land of mugglish predictability.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Shashthi Blues!

It pricks. Even the waterdrops do.

The ultimate grandeur rips through
our windowless room, in a hurry,
And, the blue air unfolds itself
in true spirit of nothingness.

Here they lie and here they die almost casually,
Since the days have passed into sunlit ones
With the interference of seemingly pitless nights.
Yes, all is lost, even the immortal hate,
Lost in the daze of city-lights, only too bright!

Love, let us part now. Unceremoniously, as usual.
We do not hold the secrets together anymore,
Nor do we have the strength to kill each other
Like we wanted in the wee hours of adolescent dawn.
To live in the shadows, saying nothing, is awful.
Love, let us part now. And let us reborn yet again.

It pricks. Even the rosebuds do.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Marigolds are not in love anymore!

Even within the design itself, anarchy groans audibly. And I want to go away. Away, from the grandiloquence of it all.

At times, I feel like a stranger to my immediate reality. Up and down, it does not really touch my ground. And, the long mirror distorts my image in wrinkled irony. Glass-eyed, it mocks my smile, with a tinted veil. I cannot tell what from why.

The unconquerable will is lost, so is immortal hate.

How I wish you were here!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nemesis

Wallflower, wallflowerWon't you dance with me?
I'm sad and lonely too.
Wallflower, wallflowerWon't you dance with me?
I'm fallin' in love with you.
Just like you I'm wondrin' what I'm doin' here
Just like you I'm wondrin' what's goin' on.
Wallflower, wallflowerWon't you dance with me?
The night will soon be gone.
I have seen you standing in the smoky haze
And I know that you're gonna be mine one of these days,
Mine alone.
Wallflower, wallflowerTake a chance on me
Please let me ride you home.
- Bob Dylan

My nemesis. This song is.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Autumnal.....

I want to ride back home. NOW.

A coffee-coloured evening.

Gray and uncertain.

Uncertain and gray.

September.

A little alley in Selimpore and a tubewell at the very end of it. Hypnotic spells of microeconomics in front of a black board. Mallinath Mukherjee, trying his magical best to charm the magnitude and direction of price vectors. Axioms, a hell lot of them. Friends.

Assuring smiles. Pretty dazzling, one of them. A sense of warmth trickling down the spine. One or two strokes of uneven beauty, carelessly arrogant.

It’s September again. Damn. The lilacs are peeping out of the dead land. Sadness. Inability. Inevitability. Myriads of frozen moments, moments that will never come back.
I want to ride back home. I wish.

September.

A coffee-coloured evening.

Uncertain and gray.

Gray and uncertain.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Reasons for being partial to one of my all time favourite classics, Gaanola by Suman Chattopadhay

Just before another concert of the legend, let me share a historical garbage. Way back in 1994, when a skinny boy of class seven [or was it six?] tried to pen down his feelings, after listening to the album "Gaanola", words [and vocabulary] failed him. This post is my tribute to that boy, and to the wonder that he experienced.


A flurry of memories stream in through the bathroom window, a sense of impending adulthood, a certain pang of being severed from the Blake-esque innocence, a floating sensation of being in love for the first time, and the derision of not being able to continue that spell of gloating lovesickness. I experience all these random feelings at once, whenever this particular album is mentioned! Yes, I know, "Gaanola" is that "PERSONAL".

And like all things personal, I cannot possibly remain coherent while talking about this album. It's raining, I am sitting in front of my computer, listening to "jawto durey jaabey bondhu", perhaps for the umpteenth time, and, it is doing magic to my most vulnerable chord. Memories, deep beneath the scar of indifference, are creeping up like zombies, lost moments are trickling down the impregnable wall. They taste hot and, aye, they taste salty!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A conversation

"How does it feel actually?"

'Nobody knows.'

"Not even Zimmerman? Surely. you are joking Mr Know-it-all?"

'No, I’m not. He can make you feel the heat, and the rain, and the snowfall, and the seawind. But, he, even he, doesn’t know the feeling. He can create the feeling, suffer from it, that’s all.'

"Don’t you, I mean, surely you do know about it? That feeling?"

'You think it’s fun?'

"I don’t, believe me. When the breeze ceases to blow over the face of deserts, and the whole becomes part, I feel a sudden chill, and wonder if that is the feeling. And, then, then, the chill fizzles out like contaminated water down the gutter. Once again, I become extraordinarily chaste, wonderfully vacant."

'I see. Sort of cloud in pants, you are. Warm and delicate and plastic to the point of humane reality. Genteel.'

"Oh, I hate it when you pass on these snide remarks."

'Really?'

"Not again! Like you, I also crave to have this feeling, I want to explore it’s exclusivity. But, look here, I’m only human. After waiting like a dying dove on gunpoint, when I realise that nothing has changed, and that it is not dark yet, I feel a strange and strong sense of harmony. Well, kind of."

'To understand even the contour of this feeling, you need to be vulgar, and sinful, my dear. Lovely pieces of rhetoric find it not. Jump into the abyss of dead metaphors, fondle every dead word, breathe the smell of restless lines that no one even dares to listen to, and you’ll get the basics. Try the other highway, rather than the diamond-studded one, see the dried bones talking with each other in powdery moonlight, get battered by love under the naked wonder of lightening. Perhaps, after all these moments of pure agony, and occasional ecstasy, you’ll suddenly touch the nerve-centre of that feeling. Until then, get off. I gotta clean my ears.'

"How does it feel actually?"

'Nobody knows.'


And the conversation goes on like before………….

Saturday, August 2, 2008

On "Awborodh", a song of Kabir Suman

All we need is love and love is all we need.

Even when you are sitting pretty in front of your computer screen, calculating this and that, with wary eyes, a Kabir Suman song can break open the dam, without any prior warning.

Every album, based on a particular theme throughout its entire listening span, faces a steep challenge. It must overcome the risk of self-repetition, more so, in case of a relevant social issue. This album is not different. On Suman’s part, it looks more like an intentional take on contemporary reality, and at the same time, a passionate quest for the holy grail of unadulterated love!

It’s thrilling, when you listen to the same singer, years after his rendition of “Swadhinota”, where he so casually had touched the nerve-centre of establishment with-- “Traffic aatke chumu khawar naam swadhinota”! Later, in “Jaatishmor”, the thrill became a rainbow-coloured longing-- “Bidroho aar chumur dibyi shudhu tomaakei chai”!
Eleven years later, it seems the singer has become all impatient with the working of our well-oiled habit of acquiring indifference. His voice has drowned into the drawl of despair, with a sense of urgency interplaying between the words, especially when he utters-“aamaar shomoy aar aamar shorore/ kaara chumu khaabey pawth awborodh kore”!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sermon of a Rainy Day

Words. Lots of them. Lying facedown all over the bibleblack uncertainty, clinging to their dreamless reverie! It is pouring in the pythonlike city, sunless and mundane, the cobblestreets grumpy and foreboding, it’s pouring. There in the muffled middle, a solitary tramline is dreaming wicked dreams, and as I stare down to its drooling abstinence, somewhere, near the slanting corners of the neighbouring alley, weeds break into wistful bloom!
As the blue-inked equivalent of a certain autocorrelation fades out like the last echo of a lonely cello, the big bad crowneckish cloud cracks into the hint of a forget-me-not-blue, just for a second.
It’s still raining. The day kind of drags its tail along the dozy city. A breeze from the creased water sighs upon the wet streets. Words, still lying facedown all over the snotgreen afternoon, clinging to their habitual desire!

Listen, time passes.

Listen, times pass.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

MY tryst with a classic, "Boshey Aanko" by Suman Chatterjee

Unlike Deepak Sodhan and Lala Amarnath, to our heartfelt delight, Suman Chatterjee scored his second ton with "Boshey Aanko", in his second album! The title-song has a strange and direct colloquial flavour that so often had eluded Bengali songdom.
I still remember, how the allusion made to English medium schools had slapped me tight, and little did Suman know, how this song would mould my inner defiance to certain things. I loved "shurjo bollo ish" for fluid playing of the guitar, and, also, for the simple yet vibrant structure of its lyrical content. "ek muhurte phiriye dile" remains another of my favourites, for, pure love that can reflect a moment of eternal glory, amid the ruins of concrete faith, is the focal point of this song. Suman places his cynical counter-realisation vis-a-vis this feeling, and, we, the spellbound listeners, stay glued to the dialectics till this hour.
"shawkaal belaar Roddur" is a social statement, beautifully sung and, the choice of words, they never cease to evoke the pang of fellow-feeling ( sympathy is too limited a word) for that nameless little girl. "chhawk ketechhe gaachher chhaya, ebong roder dwando" reminds us of Bibhutibhusan at his best. Before Suman, I never came across a description so physical in its essential nature, so ethereal in its sense of aesthetics, at least in the empire of Bengali songs.
The last two lines of "meghdoot" gets ironic enough, to show us the contrasting reality, and, like Yeats, reflects that beauty, indeed, is not a joy forever!
"rekhaaber rawng" captures the sombre mood of serenity, from the point of view of an ageing maestro. The song continuously makes us aware of our past, and how it firmly holds its ground even now. In "hothat rastaay", nostalgia bewitches reality, and the refrain of "bondhu kawtodin dyakha hoyni" breaks through the craving, yet uncertain hearts.
"ekekta din mosrin" remains another of my favourites, despite its embryonic rock sound. The lyrics, with a nonchalant "ekekta taa din bawro bey-rongin, awsukher mawto aashe aamar shawkaal", projects the casual darkness in the heart of a truant generation.
Although "chaalsher Gaan" was a childhood favourite; with dotage, it has lost some of its appeal. It sounds a little boring, a little overstretched, with some brilliant lines here and there. With "pukur paarer noyaano gaachh", begins the celebration of the trivial, which some years later would touch the pinnacle of song-making with 'chaarline-er gaan' in Jaatishmor.
"bhorsha thakuk" reminds me of Sukumar Ray, the lyrics are absolutely fascinating. This song actually captures the possibilities of the Bengali middle-class existence. The song is all about magical commonplaceness that renders a certain pedestrian charm to this song.
We are mere muggles, years before the boy who lived started enchanting us with his magic spells; another wizard had made us spellbound, as well. "boshey Aanko" remains another of his dazzling spells. I can't get rid of it, of course, I don't want to get rid of it for the world!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Suicide note..

If I ever plan to counter Albert Camus, I would do it with the words of a black American poet.....

" The cool
Calm face of the river
Asked me for a kiss"

Period.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Longing...

It’s not easy to deal with smiles. A sudden twist of facial muscles, or a moment of indecision, can ruin your citadel in a flash. I close my eyes, and, try to regain composure. Somewhere deep down the valley of lonely stars, faces creep in to the last syllable of recorded time! She was someone very close, or was she not? Memories play snake and ladder with each other !

The cellphone screen shrieks with searing light. How strange has this living been, how terribly fantastic. Someone, from a different corner of this old, old city, has sent me some words. Flowers and ashes do not seem much different within the cavity between each word.

Suzanne, at times, I miss you.....

Friday, April 4, 2008

Flakes of thoughtlessness

There are times when you want to assure yourself that you are capable of scribbling a line or two! That is precisely the reason I am trying to phrase some thoughts on this very page. All my ideas have gone haywire, giving way to incomplete thoughts! It does not bother me anymore. I am happy to be alive, as Tolstoy had said in one of his less pious efforts!

Collecting words out of a void has never been easy. It may be bread and butter for philosophers and poets of this world, but it does cost me a lot of time. Sometimes, I wonder, why am I trying to post such morbid thoughts, damn it, Why am I even writing this crap at all! Is it because of some hidden urge to express vulnerability, or is it just a fancy like boating on a summer night!

The quest goes on....

Friday, February 29, 2008

My baby shot me down!

Almost imperceptible, a hint of coloured reality lurks beneath the words of Uma “the Goddess” Thurman. The pang of being shot down plays a pivotal role in making our heroine aware of her femininity. Somewhere, deep down the valley of consciousness, the feeling of sexual suppression and racial abuse prepares a queer concoction! Strangely enough, the inevitability of being exploited as a woman never clashes with her affection for the lover boy, the age-old adage “nothing hurts like love” seems to be the potter-esque scar of this woman-child! She makes love with her ideas of perfection by dedicating her independent self to the confines of society like a mature woman and yet breaks like a little girl, showing her sand-made defiance.

Thereafter comes adulthood and April is the cruellest month! Even the flawed ideas have their moments of glory, church bells do have a tendency to weave magical sounds through still air and after all, we human beings are only human. So, the last shot comes unexpectedly and there remains only the bullet-ridden carcass of the angel of dreams! It’s pain, pain and excruciating pain all the way, and a little bewilderment. The song ends with almost an acceptance of what had happened, and we all see a woman trying to come to terms with actuality that has always been hidden in her dark corridors of loneliness. And yet, in her eyes, I can always see a bewildered look like that of a little girl!

Personally, from an inverted perspective, I am not sure how I would face the entire situation. Derisive I have never been, the way Dylan flaunted derisiveness in “Like a Rolling Stone” is never going to become my much-needed “prot├ęgo” charm. I lack that razor. I would rather prefer to say, “Don’t think twice, it’s all right”, and begin the walk down the long and lonesome road. I am ready to give my heart to somebody, but, if anybody ever wants my soul, the bargain would end there. I would still prefer walking the path with Bob Dylan inside my head.

Perhaps, the male counterpoint is always a little linear in its depiction of feminine reality!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

when winter comes.....

More than two hundred years ago, an English youth in his muse had written the welcome note of spring amid the usual frosty weather of his motherland. Since then, scholars and dare I say, masters, have been blowing their trumpets of incorrigible pedantry by repeatedly quoting it in the confines of classroom. Honestly, when you are literally shivering from the chill, if someone reminds you of those ever hopeful lines in a dreamy voice, would you not be better off by giving him a tight slap for being untimely! And there lies the crux of our civilized existence, you could only offer him a meek smile and perhaps a pained stare at most! Destiny!

Monday, January 21, 2008

A concert in Bangalore

There are concerts, and, well, concerts. Only a very few of them can make your heartstrings vibrate to the rhythm of unadulterated life, and believe me, this one did just that!

Like the most natural phenomenon, I was feeling rather sick with my old bones on the day the concert was about to take place, and true to my annoying nature, have been a real pain in everybody’s you-know-what. Astonishingly enough, every person in Bangalore has been quite angelic in dealing with my antics, and though congenitally dull, I was being able to feel the warmth of unbreakable charms!

The evening started with a note of resurrection, and all my sickening moments of weakness were gone in a flash. Here was a group of supremely talented musicians, performing the songs of Kabir Suman, in a rare showing of tribute, and how they extracted life from every word they sang! It was a tour-de-force of extreme passion, the guitars, the vocals and, of course, the key-board were tuned in unison as if they were the cry of the soul, desperate to touch the sublime halo of ultimate musicality.

A regret that rankled me after the concert was that I won't ever be able to hum the songs with my brand of asinine voice.

For the first time in my life, I wish I were a musician. That tells you something about the concert, because indolent imbeciles like me do not often get the urge to look back in anger. What do they know of music, who only music know?